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  • Jenn Jones

Exploring the Sacred Art of Grieving: Granting Yourself Permission to Heal

Grief is inherent to our humanity, a natural and sacred aspect of the human experience. It is challenging yet cathartic, unveiling profound insights about ourselves if we allow it, if we lean into it. To grieve is to truly live, to fully embrace our existence.

Grief extends far beyond the realm of death. It permeates countless moments in our lives. The definition of grief is 'deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement' or 'a cause of such suffering'. Life is fraught with suffering, and often, it feels like I've been medicated for grief, but there's no easy fix. No magic pill exists to erase grief. Instead, we learn to coexist with it. We become companions to our grief rather than adversaries.

My recent medical diagnosis feels like grief. Losing my reproductive organs, navigating a world driven by medical capitalism, waking up to daily pain and fatigue—these are all manifestations of grief. It's the loss of possibility, the relinquishing of control, the mourning of what could have been. Yet, many times, we fail to acknowledge or mourn these burdens.

For the first time in my life, I'm allowing myself to weep without apology. No longer do I feel the need to hide in the bathroom; I simply allow myself to feel and show up as I am. I've shed the expectation to perform, even turning down a job offer because prioritizing my health is non-negotiable. In a society that often values productivity over well-being, this decision is both empowering and necessary. I've come to realize that no company will truly prioritize my well-being and that I have to be the one to do that.

Granting myself permission to deeply feel without remorse is both beautiful and bittersweet. It's unfortunate that it took such a profound illness for me to give myself this gift. I recall my time in Nine Keys Death Midwifery apprenticeship, where I confronted my fear of death head-on. What was I so afraid of, and how would letting go of that fear change my life? If I truly embraced the reality of my mortality, how would I choose to spend my days? Living as if each day were my last is a gift. I've spoken these words before, but now I'm truly internalizing them. Embracing death and grief paradoxically brings immense freedom. In death, I've discovered courage and tenderness, leaving me breathless with awe. And in grief, I've discovered the power of vulnerability and surrender, leaving me profoundly changed.



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